After months of dealing with a variety of other projects, the city has put the Maple Street Extension back on the front burner.

After months of dealing with a variety of other projects, the city has put the Maple Street Extension back on the front burner.

On Jan. 3, the Pratt City Commissioners will take up the issue of how they want to handle the development of the area, said City Manager Dave Howard.

A key element under discussion will be whether the city will act as the developer for the area or will they sell the area to a developer and let them take charge of the area.

Financing the development will be another key issue for the commissioners as will establishing the utilities and building the access roads.

All city utilities are in close proximity to the extension and it will be easy to expand them into the extension area.

The utilities and access roads may be phased projects but exactly how all the elements will be handled has yet to be decided.

“All those areas still need to be discussed,” Howard said. “It’s going to take a little bit of time. A lot will depend on how the commissioners want to proceed.”

The Maple Street plat had been drawn up and submitted to Planning and Zoning but it has not been adopted yet. The preliminary plat was released a couple of months ago and some changes were made after the electrical layout; trash pickup and other elements were analyzed.

The plat will go to City Commissioners for a final review then it will go back to Planning and Zoning again. The plat will then go to a public review, probably in February, which will allow the public to look at the plat and make any comments or recommendations.

After the public review Planning and Zoning will make any final changes then send it back to the City Commissioners for final approval.

“We hope to have the plat done by late February or early March at the latest,” Howard said.

As always, residents are welcome at the City Commission meetings to make comment on any matter. The plat and development of the Maple Street extension area are important issues for the commissioners.

They want feedback on interest in developing the Maple Street extension especially anyone interested in building in the area, Howard said.

It is always helpful to know if there is a demand before the commissioners go out and invest the dollars necessary to develop the project. New homes would result in sources for property taxes even if most of homeowners would probably take advantage of the tax abatement in the revitalization program.

Developing the area is one of the keys to help keep a community growing. This development is a natural expansion of the community and helps the community to continue to move forward.

The city is like any business and wants to know what kind of return they can expect on their investment so community input on the matter is very important.

So far, the city has had positive input on building in the area.

“We’ve had a lot of interest in the lots,” Howard said.

The city has not worked on the Maple Street extension housing development for some time so they could concentrate on other pressing matters.

The South Main Project took up a great deal of the commissioner’s time as did the process to develop area on the east side of town for the new Hibbett’s sporting goods store.

Both those matters required immediate attention and now that they are complete the commissioners can focus once again on Maple Street extension development.